Earth Day may look a little different this year as we continue to celebrate it virtually. The good news is there’s so much we can do #TogetherApart to protect our planet.
At Kforce, we not only strive to be a socially responsible firm, but we also foster and empower socially responsible employees and citizens in our communities. Together, we hope to drive social change, be eco-conscious and reduce our carbon footprint.
So, let’s commemorate this Earth Day (and every day) by restoring our world!
- What needs to be done?
- Are there opportunities to repurpose?
- Can you eliminate behaviors or products in your life?
Learn how to apply this mindset from the comfort of your own home by checking out the 10 tips outlined below:
One of the main pillars of protecting the environment is the concept of reducing. The logic is simple. When waste or emissions are reduced, there is less to eliminate. As we continue to stay at home, it’s crucial to assess the reduction potential of household items and daily activity.
Here are ways you can start reducing:
- If you are working remotely, you’re already reducing car miles and carbon dioxide emissions from your weekday commute. You can reduce even more by limiting your car use for only essential trips.
- Consider this Earth Day plastic calculator to minimize plastic pollution in your home.
- Avoid using disposable items like plates, spoons, cups and napkins that increase waste.
- Invest in energy-efficient products. And when you’re not using energy-based items, turn them off.
Learning how to reuse or re-purpose items is essential to becoming eco-conscious. Reusing items helps reduce negative effects on the environment by avoiding the creation of additional waste. Rather than throwing things out, it’s essential to find ways to reuse them or create a multi-purpose solution.
Here are ways you can start reusing:
- Consider using reusable straws, cups and containers instead of disposable products.
- If applicable, ditch plastic and paper shopping bags during shopping for reusable totes that are durable for more than one grocery trip.
- Instead of purchasing plastic water bottles, leverage refillable beverage containers with built-in filters. Staying hydrated this way will not only reduce plastic but save you money, too.
- Learn how to repair household items instead of discarding them in the trash.
- Make a meal plan instead of relying on takeout and fast food, which often add to plastic and paper consumption.
The amount of waste we consume over a lifetime can be reduced simply by practicing recycling. This concept turns materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash into new products.
You can practice recycling daily to maintain a green home. The first step is making the decision. From there, it’s about learning what it takes and creating a lifestyle that embraces recycling.
Here are ways you can recycle:
- Purchase goods made from recycled materials, such as writing pads, totes, clothing, shoes and more.
- Make recycling bins readily and conveniently available in your home. Begin by placing bins in multiple rooms to discard paper, plastic and metal. Don’t have a recycling bin? Check out these innovative tutorials for making your own.
- Start recycling today by participating in a recycling program, whether curbside pick-up, drop-off or buy-back centers.
- Stop waste consumption by learning more about recycling. Did you know 25% of items thrown into the recycling bin aren’t recyclable? Discover what items to recycle in your home.
- Recycle old appliances and tech products by researching recycling options, from store programs to proper disposal.
In the age of Marie Kondo, more consumers are being inspired to adopt a minimalist lifestyle by creating more orderly spaces. Eliminating items not only brings people joy, but it also helps contribute to a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle.
While landfills increase in volume each year, decluttering can sometimes feel wrong when thinking about additional waste. However, you can leverage clutter-reduction practices that are environmentally friendly.
Here are ways you can declutter:
- Find items in your home to repurpose and provide extended uses. Consider reusing containers for new organizing methods or old clothes for cool projects.
- You can also consider donating materials and products you no longer use. Find items to donate to a local charity or thrift store, from older electronics and clothes to unused games and kitchen tools. Since many businesses are closed during social distancing, check with your local store about donations. If you’re not able to donate to a local center, store your items so you’re ready to go when quarantine is over.
- Set aside and sanitize items that don’t spark joy for future selling on platforms like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, OfferUp and Letgo to post your items for the taking.
- Before you purchase something, think hard about whether a product will likely become unwanted or take up space. Evaluating whether you truly need that item is critical to adopting an eco-conscious mindset.
Plants are critical to supporting life on Earth. They fuel the water cycle, release oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide and provide food for animals and humans. One choice that we can make to better the environment is to take up planting. Whether you have a yard or just a balcony, you can plant a seed and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Here are ways you can plant:
- Plant a tree to help purify the air and give wildlife a home. Since 2010, the Earth Day Network has planted tens of millions of trees with The Canopy Project. Every dollar plants one tree—click to learn more or donate.
- Grow your own plants, especially vegetables and fruits, to help reduce the long-term effects of commercial farming. Learn how to plant produce as well as manage and harvest a garden with this Kitchen Garden Planner.
- Start a compost pile by taking kitchen leftovers and converting them into nutrient-rich food for planting soil. You’ll reduce waste and make your plants healthier.
As landfills continue to increase in waste, it’s important to brainstorm ways we can transform our habits. A useful option in today’s modern world is to think digitally. There are many available opportunities you can take advantage of to reduce your physical consumption.
Here are some ways you can digitize:
- Make your home office and personal files eco-friendly by digitizing documents, CDs and flash drives. You can also consider uploading files to an external hard drive or cloud service.
- Paper mail piles up quickly. But you can make impact by making the switch to electronic billing. You’ll reduce paper use and sometimes receive a discount off services.
- Before purchasing physical books, consider digital or audio versions available online.
- If you’re a television or movie lover, reevaluate buying physical DVDs that take up space. Instead, look into online options via streaming platforms like Amazon, Fandango and more.
Our planet is beautiful, and we should all work to keep it that way. You can celebrate Earth Day this year by beautifying your surroundings in eco-friendly ways. The opportunities are endless.Here are creative ways you can beautify:
- Transform your backyard or kitchen into a garden by growing vegetables and herbs to reduce your carbon footprint, grocery trips and plastic use.
- Invest in glass cups and containers to reduce plastic use and keep our environment pristine.
- Instead of purchasing flowers that often come with plastic, rubber bands and other waste, invest in live plants that have multiple uses like aloe, eucalyptus and lavender.
- Take discarded items and turn them into cool crafts or practical uses. For instance, leverage reusable containers for potting plants or neat storage.
Celebrating Earth Day at home doesn’t have to be a big-budget project. You can make small lifestyle changes that have a positive impact in preserving our environment. Most of all, you can start projects with everyday items in your home.
Here are ways you can DIY in an eco-friendly fashion:
- Is it a coincidence that Earth Day and spring cleaning happen around the same time each year? We think not. Discover how to make household cleaners with common, non-toxic ingredients around your home.
- Get creative with transforming recyclable products. Imagine glass bottles as lamps, wine corks as hot pads and old t-shirts as quilts.
- Opt for more eco-friendly laundry options like building a manual washing machine, making a clothesline or creating laundry soap.
9. Green your style:
How we shop and care for our clothing can reduce our carbon footprint. And the good part is that we can still be comfortable and stylish while doing it.
Here are ways you can green your style:
- Find creative methods to transform clothes to get extended use, like turning an old dress into a skirt or jeans into a living-room pouf.
- You can also consider participating in future local clothing swaps or shopping at thrift stores. However, please check with your local groups and stores about policies per social distancing.
- Shop sustainable brands online by placing your dollar toward companies who also strive to make the Earth a better place.
- Learn how you can repurpose fabrics or drop off your used clothes at specialized centers. You can also check out more comprehensive tips on how to green your wardrobe.
10. Get others involved
Creating eco-friendly habits is one way to promote sustainability at home, but you can make a bigger impact by inspiring people to join your efforts. You don’t have to be an activist to do so. Simply, lead by example and spread the word. We always accomplish more when we work together.
Here are ways to get people involved:
- Encourage others to take a break and walk around their neighborhood, while practicing social distancing, and pick up trash along the way.
- Show how you’re celebrating Earth Day online by sharing a video or post on social media and challenge others to do the same.
- Find a local environmental advocacy organization and consider donating your time, talent and treasure in helping make the Earth a better place.
At Kforce, we strive to minimize the negative impacts on our environment and carbon footprint. We believe good businesses are environmentally conscious and responsible for the regular evaluation of eco-friendly approaches to operations.